Dr. Wiggs received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She did her residency in Ophthalmology at Harvard and fellowships in Glaucoma (Mass Eye and Ear) and Medical Genetics (Tufts). Dr. Wiggs is clinically board certified in both Ophthalmology and Medical Genetics.
Dr. Wiggs is a physician scientist whose research program is dedicated to understanding the molecular mechanisms of glaucoma, including both early-onset glaucoma caused by highly penetrant alleles and common age-related glaucoma with complex inheritance. Dr. Wiggs is the PI of the NEIGHBORHOOD consortium contributing over 10,000 samples for genetic analyses.
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Kevin Linkroum graduated from Colby-Sawyer College in 2003 with a BA in Biology and concentrations in Chemistry and Film. After taking a year to pursue film studies, he joined Dr. Wiggs’ lab in 2004 as a research technologist and served in that capacity until 2008 when he became the Lab Manager for the Wiggs Lab and the Vision Core Facility.
Simmons Borchert graduated from Bates College in 2012 with a degree in biochemistry. He then spent two years working in commercial brewing as quality control specialist and cellarman; during this time he earned a degree in British Brewing Technology. Simmons returned to research science when he joined the Wiggs’ lab in 2014, where he holds the role of senior research technologist. Simmons currently researches the functional effects of genes thought to cause primary open angle glaucoma and autosomal dominant optic atrophy.
Dr. Ryan Collantes received his medical degree from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines and did his ophthalmology residency at the Manila Doctors Hospital also in the Philippines. During Ryan’s residency training, he traveled to an island in the Philippines to examine a large family with a blinding condition called juvenile open angle glaucoma. This study led to an important discovery of a novel type of myocilin (MYOC) mutation which has been found to be responsible for the disease in this family. As a clinician scientist, his goal is to identify genes responsible for glaucoma and to use that information to develop methods to identify disease-causing mutations and to implement gene-based therapies.
Baojian Fan graduated in 2004 with a PhD degree, majoring in Molecular Genetics of Ophthalmology. He obtained a Master degree in Epidemiology & Biostatistics in 1997 and a Bachelor degree in Medicine (M.D. equivalent) in 1993.
Dr. Fan is primarily interested in gene mapping for Mendelian diseases (e.g., pigment dispersion syndrome) and complex diseases (e.g., adult-onset glaucoma). He is also interested in analysis of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in complex diseases.
Dr. Fan is currently a PI on a grant given by the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund to study the functional effects of the mutations in newly discovered genes responsible for pigment dispersion syndrome in zebrafish models. He is also a co-investigator on a NIH R01 grant to identify genes for ocular quantitative traits related to glaucoma using whole genome sequencing of large consanguineous pedigrees. He was a PI for a project funded by the BrightFocus Foundation to discover genetic variants that contribute to pigment dispersion syndrome and pigmentary glaucoma.
Dr. Shisong Rong obtained his M.D. from the Capital Medical University in China and Ph.D. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since his residency training in ophthalmology at Beijing Tongren Hospital, he has been actively involved in clinical & epidemiological studies and is engaged in studying the molecular genomics of eye diseases with a focus on glaucoma. He is now working with Dr. Janey Wiggs to bridge the gap in our knowledge about the biological links between genetic variants and glaucoma pathogenesis, identifying potential therapeutic targets for clinical translation.
Genetics Clinical Coordinator
Elizabeth DelBono earned a Masters of Public Health from Boston University with a concentration in research and epidemiology. Previously she worked in the Epidemiology Unit at MEE on retina research, including coordination for the initial Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). In 2001 she joined Dr. Wiggs’ genetics research group at MEE. Her responsibilities include the identification, recruitment and consenting of potential study participants who are seen in the Glaucoma Service as well as maintaining clinical databases for the Wiggs Lab research projects. Other responsibilities include study documentation and reporting to the Human Studies Committee, and being a liaison between outside providers and OGI for GEDI-o testing.